How To Make Money With Paid Memberships on YouTube

YouTube Memberships is a program that allows fans to contribute to their favorite YouTube channels automatically each month. It helps YouTubers financially so they can focus on creating awesome videos. In return, members get special perks like exclusive content and fun emojis during live videos.

Let’s talk about how you can earn money with YouTube channel members and if it’s worth checking out!

How to Qualify for YouTube Channel Memberships

Creators need to meet some basic requirements before offering Channel Memberships on YouTube, as with most programs. The minimum requirements are:

  • Subscribers must number at least 1,000.
  • You have joined the YouTube Partner Program.
  • You’re over 18.
  • You are currently in one of the available locations.
  • There is a Community tab on your channel.
  • Your channel is not set to be made for kids.
  • You don’t have a significant number of ineligible videos on your channel. Ineligible videos include those set as made for kids or those with music claims.
  • The terms and policies that apply to you (and your MCN) have been agreed to and are being followed.

The Channel Membership program is being rolled out slowly by YouTube. Some creators have access to the feature right now, but most likely, these channels are in the minority. It’s important to keep in mind that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee you’ll gain channel membership. You can check your YouTube Membership page to determine if you are eligible.

What Perks Can You Offer For YouTube Channel Memberships?

Members-only perks can be added to channels with enabled memberships, exclusively available to your active paid members. You can offer custom emojis, badges, and other perks to your customers.

You can provide multiple membership levels, each with a different price. The perks of higher levels build upon those of lower levels. In other words, the highest-priced levels have access to perks offered at lower-priced levels.

You must offer your members at least one perk (and up to five perks). YouTube expects you to comply with its policies and terms for creator perks and to deliver them.

Common membership offerings can include:

  • Members-only Community posts.
  • Members-only videos.
  • Members-only live streams (beta).
  • Members-only live chat.
  • Overview of custom channel badges.
  • Uploading custom emojis.
  • Custom emoji specifications.

Looking for a good example? Music Matters, a music theory channel with 180K subscribers as of May 2022, is an excellent starting point. This channel offers three paid plans that help viewers elevate their musicianship skills.

Members at level one receive loyalty badges, custom emojis, and early access to videos. Level two costs $9.99 per month but offers significantly more content than level one. In addition to the benefits from level one, members receive exclusive livestreams, access to a members’ group, and behind-the-scenes content.

Finally, level three offers the benefits of levels one and two. For $24.99 per month, members can also choose video topics, receive feedback on their work, and get a personal thank-you message.

Doesn’t that sound good? Visitors only have to click the ‘Join’ button under any Music Matters video when they are ready to join.

How to Turn On YouTube Channel Memberships

Turning on Channel Memberships is easy when you’re ready to make more money. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Visit the YouTube Studio.
  • Click ‘Monetization’ in the left menu.
  • You will then see the ‘Channel Monetization’ page. Click on ‘Memberships’ in the uppermost menu.
  • Go to the ‘Set-Up Your Memberships Offer’ panel, click ‘Start’, and follow the instructions.

How Much Can You Make With YouTube Channel Memberships?

The YouTube Channel Memberships work by offering subscribers a choice of “tiers.” Higher tiers pay more and receive better perks.

YouTube has set predetermined pricing for tiers, which must be between $0.99 and $100 per month. The same money range applies to other countries where Channel Memberships are available after adjusting for currency exchange rates.

Clearly distinguish what you offer for $1 from what you offer for $40!

Memberships are free, but YouTube will take a 30% cut of your profits.

Let’s say you charge $4.99 for one of your membership levels. That will result in around $500 in revenue when you reach 100 members. With that revenue:

  • You receive $350.
  • YouTube receives $150.

It’s a significant amount of money, and it only increases as you earn more. Once you reach the 1000 subscriber mark, you will be paying YouTube $1500 a month.

YouTube Channel Memberships: Worth It for Your Business?

Creators who want to focus on creating content and making money without having to run a business can take advantage of YouTube Channel Memberships.

YouTube Channel Memberships can be integrated with your existing sponsored content and advertising revenues without significantly increasing your workload. All you need to do is create custom emojis and upload occasional bonus content!

Customers have a support-oriented mindset, meaning:

  1. Your reputation as a creator is good.
  2. They want to support your efforts.
  3. They view their monthly payment as a donation to you.

However, channel memberships on YouTube have two downsides that you should be aware of:

  1. Members of your paying channel do not have access to your contact information. Migrating to another platform is, therefore, a challenge. This can be minimized by creating member-only content on YouTube that encourages paying subscribers to join a special email list.
  2. YouTube will keep a large portion of your earnings. The creator receives 70%, and YouTube keeps 30%. This is higher than what most membership platforms charge.

Is Patreon A Better Alternative To YouTube Channel Memberships?

When it comes to growing your audience beyond your YouTube channel and taking control of your income, Patreon could be a great choice.

Patreon is one of the most popular platforms for offering paid memberships outside of YouTube.

On the platform, you can set up different levels of support, known as tiers. These can involve either monthly recurring payments or payments per upload, allowing you to monetize each upload uniquely.

With Patreon, you have the option to create trackable benefits. For example, if someone joins your VIP level, you might consider giving them a t-shirt.

You can easily keep track of who has already received their shirt and who is yet to receive one by letting Patreon collect each individual’s postal address.

One advantage of Patreon is the ability to create gated, member-only content.

While you’ll need to generate more bonus material, the benefit is that you can set your prices more freely, allowing you to retain a greater portion of your income.

Final Thoughts

To fully benefit from Channel Memberships, be prepared for some extra effort. If you’re accustomed to sharing public videos, engaging with a private group of superfans will be a new and rewarding experience. Channel members who join will enjoy exclusive perks in addition to your regular content.

To kick things off, ask yourself: Can you deliver valuable content under these conditions? Consider the quality of your free content on YouTube. You’ll need to captivate viewers through your videos, live chats, badges, and more, enticing them to invest in paid memberships.

Before establishing your membership levels, keep these factors in mind. It’s helpful to outline your content plan and recognize the value of every detail if you’re up for the challenge (which we’re confident you’ll conquer).

Expect increased competition as YouTube extends Channel Memberships to more creators. If you currently have the option, becoming an early adopter is crucial for maximizing your earnings on YouTube.

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